VIDEO: asbestos warning after huge fire in Derwent Street, Belper

Police have issued a warning to people living near the site of a huge fire at an old factory in Belper not to pick up any debris for fear it may contain asbestos.

Clouds of thick black smoke were billowing into the sky at about 4pm today, Friday, May 10 after the fire at the old Thorntons factory in Derwent Street.

Belper fire from Bridge Street taken by Mary Davis

Belper fire from Bridge Street taken by Mary Davis

Witnesses have said that they heard a series of explosions as the fire took hold.

Police and fire chiefs are now advising people living nearby if they come across any debris not to pick it up as it may contain asbestos. They should contact police on the 101 number.

Emergency services dealing with a fire at a disused factory are advising people to stay away from the Derwent Street area.

Police and the fire service were contacted at around 3.30pm following reports of an explosion and fire at a derelict factory on Derwent Street.

The fire was put out by firefighters by 4.40pm but Derwent Street remains closed and there are significant traffic problems in the area.

Emergency services are concerned there may have been asbestos in the building which could have been dispersed in the explosion and are advising anyone who finds any unusual material not to touch it but to contact Derbyshire police on 101.

Any witnesses are asked to contact Derbyshire police on 101 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.

If you can tell us more comment on this story, and if you have pictures email them to